Zoomies, FRAPs, Puppy Freak Outs!
Dogs, especially puppies, sometimes have periods of activity called “Frenetic Random Activity Periods” (FRAPs), also known as the “zoomies”, or “puppy freak outs”. Whatever you call it, the result is the same, and most dog owners have been entertained by this behavior!
What are the “zoomies”?
The zoomies, or frenetic random activity period (FRAP), are a period of activity where… well… the dog zooms around the house or yard! Dogs are more prone to have a zoomie episode when they are full of energy – when they haven’t been exercised in a while or if they have been shut in the house for a few hours. Zoomies are more common in puppies or young dogs (hence the alternate name of “Puppy Freak Outs!). As your dog ages, these periods of the zoomies will likely decline, but sometimes will occur after a bath, or once in a while after long periods of inactivity.
What do the zoomies look like?
The dog will quite suddenly start running madly around the house or yard, low to the ground, with his bottom tucked down, and his eyes might look a little wild too – wide open with a wild glint. He may spin in circles, race around and on furniture, make sharp quick turns, and may bark as he races about. Often the zoomies start with no warning, or they may start with a ‘play stance bow’ – front legs outstretched with his bottom up in the air, and his tail wagging.
The dog will have no regard for objects in the way and may crash into furniture or people! The dog will not heed calls to stop, come, or sit. Zoomies end quite as suddenly as they start and the tired out pooch will flop to the ground and relax, panting, with a happy and content face!
Zoomies are not an aggressive behavior, although puppies may sometimes nip. To discourage nipping, avoid handling your dog and do not try to play any games during an attack of the zoomies. If you can, open up a door and encourage your dog to tear around your yard (if it is fenced) instead of your house!
To discourage zoomies, make sure to schedule vigorous play activities and long walks throughout the day to ensure that your dog is getting enough exercise and play. Schedule a walk around the time that the zoomies typically occur, often in the early morning and early evening. Avoid chasing your dog or laughing at these zoomie episodes as this can encourage zoomie behavior.
Zoomies are a natural part of your dog’s development and can certainly provide some entertainment to you and your family, so enjoy them!